Indore : Recording Rs 1 crore in the first fiscal year, ‘Maalgaadi’ a start-up is changing the scenario of industrial transport in Indore. Maalgadi is an online portal that connects customers to truck drivers and helps them trace their movements via GPRS.
Founders of the start-up chartered accountants Anirudh Garg(26) and Saurabh Raj(25) shared their success story and lessons learned with Free Press.
Sharing the lesson learned, Anirudh said, “Persistence is the key to success; one has to keep moving in the right direction no matter what.” He elaborated that as a start-up, they had to battle many challenges, but they have been successful, because they did not back down.
“We started our pilot project on Jan 1, 2015 and we were forced to shut down on Jan 21,” Anirudh shared. He explained that local goons had been threatening truck drivers, who agreed to tie up with them. “It was scary and difficult to deal with them, but we did not back down,” he added.
Talking about how they dealt with the goons, Anirudh shared that they approached cops and used family’s influence until their business expanded. “After our fleet size increased, they did not bother us,” he added.
Sharing how two chartered accountants started a transport business with online support, which they knew nothing about, Saurabh said, “We had to start something of our own and we saw an opportunity in industrial transport.”
He elaborated that they had been observing the growth of hired taxis and cabs in the city, while working as chartered accountant with different firms. “We have worked in various places, where we noticed that hired cabs are one of the fastest growing companies,” Saurabh said. Talking about demonetisation and sharing the review of the year, Anirudh and Saurabh shared their opinion and review of their start-up.
How has the business been this year?
The business in 2016 has been great so far. We had over 60 per cent growth in terms of monthly revenue from April 2016 till October 2016. There has been more adaptability in terms of technology in both the drivers and the customers which is a positive sign for our business.
How did demonetisation affect your business?
Post demonetisation our business has gone down a bit due to lack of cash in market. There has been an overall fall in business of all our customers who are majorly MSME’s who have been the most affected. Also our drivers had to face a lot of problems due to demonetisation since their major transactions are cash based.
But these are only short term effects. In the long run this is going to be really good for our business since due to lack of cash in market people will now be more willing and accepting than ever for using services like MaalGaadi in which they have an option to pay through M Wallets and E Payments. Although the business has gone down a bit but the number of customers using our services has gone up since more and more people are now shifting to cashless payments. So overall this decision might have some ill effects in the short run since there has been an overall slowdown in the economy but in the longer run for ventures like us it is going to be really good. We expect the overall market to be back to normal post March 2017. We are utilising this time to get more and more customers on our platform by educating them about various M Wallets and E Payment methods like UPI apps, Paytm etc.
Although our drivers were accepting payment through M Wallets and other E Payment methods we are still holding regular sessions for our drivers to explain them about the working of applications like Paytm, UPI etc so that they can use this applications for their other day to day transactions as well.
So basically we are trying to educate all our customers and drivers on usage of cashless methods for carrying out commercial as well as personal transactions.